Narwhals (Monodon Monoceros)

Welcome to my website on narwhals (The Jedi of the sea). This website will go over some on the key aspects of any marine animal website. Some of these include, unique characteristics,physical description, habitat and migration, etc. Thanks for reading!

unique Characteristics

Narwhal's tusks are something that many scientists and research groups have been baffled by for many years. The tusks can grow to be up to 9 feet, and they continue to grow throughout their lives. They can weigh more than 22 pounds. One of the surprising things about narwhals is that the tusks are exclusive to males.

Pods

Narwhals are pack animals or as it is more formally know in aquatic life, pod animals. However, not all pods are created equal. A small pod has about four to ten narwhals of mixed genders. A normal sized pod has about 35 narwhals. A large pod has about 100 narwhals.

While the size of pods varies a lot the fact that pods are made up of mixed gender never changes.

Predators

Walruses and polar bears are the main animal predators but also killer whales play a small role. However, the main reason of death for narwhals is suffocating. Since narwhals are the only whales that stay in the arctic ocean during the winter, they rely on the otters.

Research Groups

The main thing that research groups, such as Baffin Bay, are trying to solve is why narwhals have tusks. No one really knows why since the females don't have tusks and they live longer than males. It's not for hunting since they could not get anything off of it. So what is it for?

History

Narwhal's evolution is mostly a mystery. In the past narwhals are believed to have had triangular teeth. Not only that, but also narwhals did not always have their tusk. Somewhere in their evolution history they developed a tusk.

Narwhals, World's Weirdest

Physical Description

Narwhals are born gray and later in their life begin to adopt a black and white dotted coat. Narwhals got their name from the look since the word "nar" means corpse like. Males weigh about four thousand pounds and are about 15 feet long including the tusk. Females weigh about two thousand two hundred pounds and are about 13 feet (both length measurements without the tusk) The tusks are unique to males. Narwhals on average live about 50 years if they are in a non polluted area.

Diet

Since narwhals don't have any teeth they eat only eat soft food like turbot ( A small European flatfish). Over all narwhals are pretty picky eaters and won't eat most fish even if they are starving. They can dive to depths of 5250 feet which allows them to reach some deep sea shrimp.

Reproduction and Gestation

Most narwhals mate in the spring and don't give birth until summer, normally the gestation period of narwhals are fourteen months. They also never give birth to more than one baby a year. Also the parents stick around for about twelve to twenty months to teach their young about hunting and other survival skills.

Communication

Narwhals are keen communicators. They use an assortment of clicks, whistles, bangs on the water, trumpeting sounds, and some others that make up nine sounds and movements in all. They also use it to disorient their prey. Lastly they use echolocation to navigate.

Habitat and migration

Narwhals are mostly found from Greenland to Canada in the high Arctic, while rarely some are found off of the coast of Norway. In all there are only about 8,000 narwhals left in the world. Out of these there are 10 major sub populations. They are the one whale that stays in the Arctic Ocean during the winter. Because of this, suffocation is the main cause of death since only 3% of the Arctic Ocean ice has air pockets.

Citations

Content

"7 Fascinating Facts About Narwhals." Mental Floss. N.p., 03 Apr. 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Narwhal." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 06 Mar. 2003. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

"Narwhal Facts and Pictures." Facts and Pictures. N.p., 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.

"Narwhal." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Writer, Leaf Group. "Narwhal Characteristics." Animals - Mom.me. Mom.me, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.

Visuals

"At New Hampshire Institute of Art On Evolution." ODYSSEY. ODYSSEY, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

"I LOVE THE NARWHALS." Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

"Narwhal." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Mar. 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

Narwhals | World's Weirdest. YouTube. N.p., 5 Sept. 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

Unicorn of the Sea: Narwhal Facts. World Wildlife Fund, 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

Created By
Sheldon Myers
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